Winter Drivers Suck

I'm afraid I don't have a nice amusing preamble paragraph ready for this article. The title pretty much conveys everything you will ever need to know about driving in Winter weather, when the snow starts falling and the temperature gets nice and low, and Eskimoes have to put on a sweater: People have no fucking clue how to drive in Winter.

If you've ever been anywhere close to snow in the Winter, nothing I say here should surprise you in the least. As soon as the first hint of snow starts descending from the skies, it's like everyone forgets there's a pedal on the right that makes their vehicle go faster.

Well, that's not quite right. There are three types of Winter driver, and two of them suck. Sadly, those two are the most prolific of the Winter drivers. Here's the rough breakdown:

You probably suck at driving in Winter

Let's tackle them one by one, shall we? First up is the people who drive unbelievably slow at even the smallest hint of whiteness on the ground. The speed limit is 50, and they're going 20 if you're lucky. For argument's sake, we'll call them Grannies. The Grannies are split about down the middle between two groups: people who just don't know how their cars handle such weather and don't want to risk it, and people who are absolutely terrified of the snow, and have no business being on the road.

The first group is just being over-cautious. They're usually inexperienced drivers (in general or in Winter), or people who have recently changed their cars, tires, transmission, or some other part of their car and they don't want to find out the hard way that their new machinery can't handle slippery roads. I don't really have a problem with those people. They're a pain in the ass for driving so slowly, but it's not because they're stupid.

The second group ...I can't put in to words how much I hate the second group. It's usually people who have been in a Winter accident before and are terrified of being in another, or very old people who either have no reflexes, or are afraid that they have no reflexes. You can tell who these drivers are because they have the wheel in a death-grip that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger cringe. I have personally seen drivers like this going 40 under the speed limit, straddling the line between the two lanes so nobody can get by, and this when there's an eighth of an inch of snow on the ground with no wind. If you're afraid of the road in Winter, then stay the fuck off it!

Next we have the people who drive way too fast for the weather. You're cruising along at a safe speed, and all of a sudden some jackass in a sports car whips by you faster than the diarrhea after taking a muscle relaxant. Eventually you're going to see their car upside down on the side of the road, and them standing next to it with an honestly confused look on their face as to why they crashed.

These are the unhealthily cocky people. I'm a little cocky, enough that I maintain this website and tell everyone what I think is wrong in society and how to fix it. These people are so cocky that they actually think nothing can hurt them, and they should do whatever they want because they will be safe while they do it. There is exactly one root cause for this type of driver: immense stupidity. The road doesn't care how cool you think you are.

Finally, there's the minority: people who actually know how to drive in Winter. It's easier than you think, too. In most cases you keep your speed about 5-15 under the speed limit, and allow yourself more time to brake, including braking before turning. On icy roads or in strong wind, pick a speed you're comfortable at that you can control the car in. Then assume everyone else is retarded, because when it comes to Winter driving you're probably right.

About a month ago I was driving from my parents' cottage back in to Toronto, and there was basically a blizzard going on. You couldn't see far in front of you, the wind was coming thick and sideways, and the roads were covered in snow. The speed limit on Highway 400 is 100km/h, and the road is pretty straight overall. I set my cruise control at 70 and drove with both hands on the wheel, just like you're supposed to. There were people I passed, and there were people flying past me, evidently convinced that suicide is the best way out. In the end it took a little longer than usual, but I got home safely, and that's all that fucking matters.

In the end, the moral of the story is quite simple, really. If you're going to live in a place where it snows in Winter, then learn how to drive in the snow. That yellow pie slice is looking mighty anorexic, and needs to be fed.

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